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Costa Rica Chronicles, Day 8

Jeff Raymond on October 5, 2013

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Saturday, Oct 6

With the week of training over, today was a day of team activities before everyone heads home tomorrow, leaving the difficult and on-going job of following up with new believers to our missionary team.   "Team TACTICA" consists of missionaries Ryan and Gretchen Rought and their two daughters, Jon and Joni McGinnis and their four children, and Mike and Arlene Armstrong, all of whom live full-time in Costa Rica.

By Friday night all of us were so fried that we couldn't even think straight. I didn't even pack up my equipment after finishing the graduation ceremony - just left everything laying loose at the ministry center.

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Sleeping in until 5:30 was nice but longer would have been better. We met early for breakfast and team devotions before hopping on the bus. But instead of camera bags and boots, I was wearing a swim suit and sneakers.  We headed out of the big city and into the mountains for a morning of whitewater rafting. Between missionary families and team members we had 35 people on the river, many of whom had never rafted. Although quite capable of shooting their weapons, it was funny to see big, tough guys more than apprehensive about shooting the rapids.

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Volcanoes are common throughout Costa Rica. We saw Irazu Volcano from a national Park we visited. Coffee plantations covered the mountainsides, and eucalyptus and guava trees were everywhere. The Valley of Orosi we passed through is famous for being the first place Spanish conquistador, Coronado moved inland to establish a settlement.

After the whole gang survived their greatest fear of the day, we headed back to downtown San Jose for some souvenir shopping, before heading back to the ministry center. There the team all pitched in to sort, clean, organize and pack up all the wet, dirty training gear used during the week.

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We enjoyed one final team dinner by our incredible hostess, Gretchen and her faithful team of ladies.  Following dinner was a three-hour time of devotions, prayer and final debriefing. What an emotional and spiritually uplifting time to hear everyone share their deepest heart feelings about their experiences of the week. The team was very tightly bonded and used powerfully by God for the advance of the Gospel. But more than that, God impacted every person here deeply, and challenged us to consider our own walk with The Lord and what we are doing daily to show people what the Bible says about Jesus.

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"Mission accomplished" were the words used as each team member was presented a special TACTICA coin depicting the six aspects of the armor of God in Ephesians 6. This passage was used on the very first day when the team was given their charge for the week. Ryan, Jon, Mike and Gretchen presented each a coin after commending each person by sharing the impact they saw that person have during the week, or how they saw God work in their life.   There really weren't enough Kleenex to go around.
 

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